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South West

Sector establishments

  • There are approximately 18,800 hospitality, leisure, travel and tourism establishments in the South West.
  • 66% of these establishments are ‘restaurants’ or ‘pubs, bars and nightclubs’.
  • Devon has the largest number of establishments in the South West.
  • Three quarters of establishments employ between 1 and 10 people.


  • Approximately 192,700 people work in the sector in the South West.
  • Around a third of all those working in the sector work in restaurants.
  • 59% of the workforce is female.
  • 53% of the workforce is employed full-time.
  • The sector employs a young workforce, with the majority aged between 16-19 years.


  • The majority of the sector workforce work in elementary occupations.
  • Approximately 27% of the workforce is in manager and senior official roles, with the rest working in technical roles such as chefs and travel agents.


  • The number of vacancies being advertised for core sector jobs in Jobcentres in the South West was 3,557.
  • The largest number of vacancies was for ‘kitchen and catering assistants’, chefs, cooks’, ‘bar staff’ and ‘waiting staff’.
  • 9% of establishments reported that they had hard-to-fill vacancies, compared with 8% across the whole economy.
  • 41% of vacancies in the sector in the South West are proving hard-to-fill due to a lack of people with the appropriate skills.

Workforce skills

  • 29% of the sector’s workforce is qualified to Level 2 and 26% are qualified to Level. A quarter of the workforce is qualified to Level 1 and entry level.
  • 11% of the sector workforce in the South West is qualified to Level 4 and above, whilst 9% hold no qualifications.
  • 22% of employers in the South West reported skills gaps in their current workforce.
  • Employers report that 14% of staff are not full proficient in their jobs.

Source: South West Regional Profile and Skills Needs Assessment 2009